10 Insider Tips – Cruise Holidays with Kids

cruise ship

While “we’ll leave you at home next time” may be an idle threat, we all know it can be difficult holidaying with the kids – their natural energy makes rest and relaxation a distant dream.

If you think you’d go stir crazy on a cruise ship with the kids for a week or two, but still fancy the idea of holidaying on the seas, then read on.

We asked specialist travel agents Cruise1st to put together their tips on cruise holidays with the kids – take a look and let us know what you think.

Plan with the Kids

There are hundreds of thousands of different cruise options and itineraries – meaning a package can be designed to your family’s specific tastes. Get the kids involved with the planning process – asking where they’d like to visit and which ships they’d like to cruise aboard. This can help reduce the risk of unsatisfied cruisers and unwanted temper tantrums.

Check the Kids Clubs

Over the past 15 years, all the major cruise lines have increased their targeted appeal towards families and, in particular, children. Part of this process is removing archaic, condescending kids clubs and replacing them with activities and groups which they will actually enjoy. The age-specific groups help kids meet peers on-board and enjoy relevant activities and games. Check the kids groups which are relevant to your children’s ages and tastes when booking a cruise.

Excursions, Excursions, Excursions

Keep the kids interested by booking an itinerary with regular shore excursions, allowing them to stretch their legs and explore somewhere new. There are a wide range of cruise itineraries which stop in a new port almost every day – meaning the ship will seldom spend more than 15 hours at sea in any one stretch.

family cruise ship

Pack Walkie Talkies

Phone signal may be hard to come by when miles out to sea, so walkie talkies offer a superb alternative to help you stay in touch with the children if they go off for a little independent fun. This will allow kids the chance to make their own fun without you worrying about their safety.

Use Location Devices

Especially useful for younger children and toddlers who are prone to wondering off, a locator device such as Kids Kontact can help you quickly find kids who have escaped your careful gaze for just a few seconds. The small wristbands are subtle and unobtrusive – unlike harnesses and child leads.

Dynamic Dining

We all know kids can sometimes be fussy eaters, so be sure to check the range of on-board eateries before booking a cruise – helping you avoid embarrassing and frustrating dinner time tantrums. Many ships will offer a selection of different dining options – with great kids’ menus, as part of an all-inclusive price.

Royal Caribbean have recently launched their Dynamic Dining option – with cruise passengers able to choose from up to seven on-board restaurants at no extra cost.

Relax the Schedule

There’s always something to see and do on a cruise ship, so to remove the risk of missing out on anything – don’t plan too tight or regulated a schedule. A relaxed schedule will allow you to make last-minute decisions and changes determined by the families’ moods.

Go All-Inclusive

All-inclusive cruise packages allow you to indulge the kids without running up a huge bill at the end of the holiday. If the kids want to try something new at dinner time, you can order without the concern of wasting money on a couple of chews, quickly spat out into a napkin. Drinks packages ensure kids can enjoy an unlimited supply of soft drinks and water.

Prepare for the Conditions

Unlike land-based holidays, there is a chance you’ll be subjected to a number of temperatures and conditions on a cruise holiday – so it is important to ensure you are packed for all the potential weathers. Check the weather everywhere you are visiting or sailing through to ensure you and the kids are never left in the cold.

Peruse the Adults-Only Options

If you are planning on letting the kids visit the kids clubs and take part in the youth activities for a short stretch – it’s likely you’ll want to invest that time in a private, relaxed manner. Check the ships for adults-only areas and activities such as spas and private pools. This will help you avoid other people’s children – a highly attractive proposition.

Have you ever been on a cruise holiday with your family? Share your thoughts below…



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